The 8 basic brush lettering strokes are the foundations of every letter. Practice the strokes with these lettering worksheets. Practice sheets come in both JPG and PDF format so you can print them or use them digitally.
I’ve spent years practicing hand lettering. When I first started, I just jumped right in trying to create letters and words. I got very disappointed that they did not look like the perfect letters/words that I envisioned. I’ve heard from so many of you that you struggle with lettering and making your work look “good”. The key to this is practicing the basic strokes. There are 8 basic brush lettering strokes that are used to form each letter. Once you master these strokes, you can begin to connect them together to form letters and words. The better you get at the basic strokes, the better your letters will look.
To help you, I’ve created worksheets that allow you to practice the 8 basic strokes of hand lettering. I’ve included iPad lettering practice sheets (JPG format) in addition to PDF format so you can choose what lettering method works best for you.
Before you start hand lettering, you’re going to need some supplies. Here are the supplies I recommend for these brush lettering worksheets.
BRUSH LETTERING SUPPLIES
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens – They are perfect for beginners because the flexible tip allows for thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes.
- Tracing paper – Using tracing paper saves ink. Simply print out one copy of the practice sheet and place a piece of tracing paper over it to practice.
- iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Procreate app (OPTIONAL) – I recommend these if you want to letter digitally. These tools are an investment so don’t feel the need to rush out and purchase them if you are just beginning.
- Practice sheets (see download instructions, below).
THE 8 BASIC BRUSH LETTERING STROKES
These are the 8 basic brush lettering strokes. I’ve added an example of each one under the definition.
- Downstroke – Downstrokes are thick strokes that begin at the x-height and continue down to the baseline. Keeping your pen at and angle allows you to get an even downstroke.
- Upstroke – Upstrokes are thin strokes that begin at the baseline and continue up to the x-height
- Underturn – Underturn strokes begin at the x-height with a thick downstroke, curve under at the baseline and transition into a thin upstroke. Underturn strokes are the basic strokes when creating letters such as lowercase “u” and “w”.
- Overturn – Overturn strokes begin at the baseline with a thin upstroke, curve over at the x-height and transition to a thick downstroke. Overturn strokes are the basic strokes when creating letters such as lowercase “m” and “n”.
- Compound Curve – Compound curve strokes combine the overturn and underturn into one seamless stroke.
- Oval – Oval strokes begin at the 1 o’clock position, continue around to the left with a thick downstroke, and then transition to a thin upstroke. Oval strokes are used to create letters such as “o” and “q”.
- Ascender Loop – Ascender Loop strokes begin at the x-height with a thin upstroke, curve over at the ascender, and continue with a thick downstroke. Ascender loop strokes are used to create the ascenders of letters such as lowercase “d” and “b”.
- Descender Loop – Descender Loop strokes begin at the baseline with a thick downstroke, curve under at the descender, and continue with a thin upstroke. Descender loop strokes are used to create the descenders of letters such as lowercase “g” and “j”.
8 BASIC STROKES WORKSHEETS
I’ve created practice sheets containing each of the 8 basic strokes. You didn’t think I’d skip out on giving you a way to practice, did you? The practice sheets are located in the resource library. You must be an email subscriber to access the library. If you are not subscribed, you can sign up here.
The practice sheets come in two formats:
- PDF – for use when you are printing a hardcopy
- JPEG – for digital use with the Procreate app.
BRUSH LETTERING STROKES VIDEO
MORE LETTERING POSTS
- Uppercase Hand Lettering Practice
- Lowercase Hand Lettering Practice Sheets
- 10+ Brush Lettering Practice Sheets
- 5 Tips to Improve Your Hand Lettering
- Hand Lettering for Beginners: An Ultimate Guide
- Create Faux Calligraphy in 3 Easy Steps
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